Fellowship Case Study

Homestyle Aged Care Services

A project to provide more meaningful long-distance connection between residents.

Alana OKeefe with
resident Elizabeth Walker

In Victoria we worked with Homestyle Aged Care Services on Fellowships for four managers based at different sites. Each manager led a site-based project.

One of the fellows, Julie Gray, worked with her Lifestyle Manager Alana OKeefe to lead a project to provide more meaningful long-distance connection between residents living with dementia and their families by trialling video chat and Skype calls in a 15-bed, dementia-specific unit.

Five residents were selected for the trial, based on criteria including having a diagnosis of dementia in its advanced stages, and relatives living too far away to visit regularly.

“DTA’s team based at La Trobe University provided incredibly helpful and empowering support to staff throughout the project, including a literature review and guidance on evaluation”, Julie said.

“This support was essential in us being able to deliver real, tangible results for our residents.”

After the video chat calls, staff would prompt residents to share information about themselves and their families. Residents were enthusiastic about sharing parts of their life stories that the calls had triggered, and this in turn helped staff learn more about the residents.

Julie Gray


DTA’s Fellowship Program

Fellowships are coaching partnerships. DTA will work closely with selected staff members to develop their leadership skills, facilitate knowledge transfer and create real, sustainable practice change within their organisation.

Fellowships are available for residential care staff in some organisations as part of a Tailored Training Program.